Thanks to so many of you who joined us for the SURJ call on Ferguson this weekend. We got a great response from the 1,100 people who registered, more then 500 people who were on the call and many others who were unable to join. You can find notes, additional resources and an audio link to the call here.
As promised, here are materials and information to help you engage more white people in local actions in support of Mike Brown, the people of Ferguson and the ongoing fight against systemic racism.
- Monday: #HandsUpWalkOut –#FergusonAction is asking you and your organizations to support a mass walk out on Monday at 1:01pm ET / 12:01pm CT / 11:01am MT / 10:01am PT —the time that Mike Brown was murdered. Folks can put their hands up as they leave their job, schools or wherever they are and gather together. Please share widely on social media using #HandsUpWalkOut. Click here for an image to share.
- Street action: The request from Ferguson is for ongoing actions at the Department of Justice and US Attorneys Offices this week to demand that civil rights charges be brought against Officer Darren Wilson AND that federal agencies work harder to push racial justice reforms within police departments – ideally between Tuesday, 12/2 and Friday, 12/5. Click here to add your action to list from across the country.
- Sign on to the Ferguson Action National Vision as an individual or an organization.
- Join Ferguson Actions national text network. Text “HANDSUP” to 90975.
- Build a local legal support team. Get the basics on our conference call this Wednesday, December 3rd at 8pm ET/ 7pm CT/ 6pm MT/ 5pm PT. Register here.
We want you!
SURJ was created to engage more white people in action for racial justice. Please take a minute to make sure we have the best information for you so we can connect you to others in your area and support your work on the ground. You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or check out our website for more on SURJ.
Here are the main ideas we, as white people should communicate at actions and in public as we stand with #Ferguson:
- CONTEXT: What happened in Ferguson is not the exception but the rule in a system based on white supremacy. People of Color have endured hundreds of years of systemic racism and oppression. Today one of the main sources of oppression is the mass incarceration system that disproportionately targets People of Color, and a judicial system that does not offer all of us equal protection under the law. At SURJ, we believe that the level of anti-black racism and violence endemic in our system didn’t allow for a fair grand jury hearing in Ferguson.
- SOLIDARITY: What is happening in Ferguson and around the country through an increase in police violence impacts all our struggles. When government (via the police) is allowed to kill without consequence, People of Color carry the brunt and all our civil liberties are at risk. This puts a chill on all activism. White people need to identify our mutual interest with People of Color and what our stake is to make deep and systemic change.
- WHITE SILENCE: White silence stokes the racism that divides People of Color and White working class people, who have every reason to stand together for better wages, better air, affordable housing, and an end to war. We need to stand together with communities targeted for police abuse, because otherwise, we cannot build the unity we need to move forward. It is in the interest of white people to stand against this repression for our own lives and those of people we love.
- NATIONAL CRISIS: People of Color have called for White people to act. People of Color are putting their bodies on the line and it is time for White people of conscience to do the same. White people need to make a choice, right now. All over the country, White people are already taking nonviolent action, from marching in the streets to creating legal defense funds. These issues affect us all.
Our commitment is to take action now to raise the tension and support Ferguson, and we will be organizing with you to engage more white people in the future to address the root causes of this state violence.
Yours in Struggle,
Dara, Carla, Sam, Meta, Sean, Lisa, Murphy, Pam and JLove
SURJ Leadership Team
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)